Shocked Green Park tries to get on

Half-an-hour after the 15-minute gunbattle between the police and criminals in Green Park,a man was seen clutching the hands of his 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.

Written by Sahim Salim | New Delhi | Published: January 20, 2009 12:10 am

Half-an-hour after the 15-minute gunbattle between the police and criminals in Green Park,a man was seen clutching the hands of his 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. Having “just stepped out of the house to go on a drive”,he did not know what had taken place in those 15 minutes — why there was such a high police presence in the otherwise bustling area.

With a frightened look,he tightened the grip on his childrens’ hands and headed for the road to reach his car. Just then,a police officer barked: “This area is cordoned off. Dikhta nahi kya?” The man murmured his apologies,reassured his daughter,by now crying,and went away.

Just another example of the shock the residents of Green Park experienced after the encounter on Monday afternoon.

The spot where the firing took place is between Focus Imaging Centre and Learnium Primary School.

An eyewitness,Ajay Lal,who works in a general store nearby,said: “A police vehicle was chasing the car. It forced the car to stop in front of the colony’s gate number 2,and policemen surrounded it. I thought it would end there but suddenly I heard gunfire. Alarmed,I went inside.

“The firing went on for at least 15 minutes. Later,when it stopped,I came out and saw two men trying to run away with blood dripping from their shirts. But they had hardly taken two steps when they collapsed.”

Anita Sood,who had got her son to the Focus Imaging Centre for an MRI scan,said,“I was outside the clinic with my husband when I heard the gunshots. We ducked and rushed back to the clinic.”

Employees of the clinic said there were two patients inside when the shootout began. “We immediately locked the premises,” the receptionist said.

The area’s RWA president,Colonel D Bhowmik,said: “It is a crowded area; anything could have happened. We are disturbed about the incident. What if the robbers had entered the colony and taken hostages?”

However,despite being armed with AK-47s and automatic weapons,the policemen did not fire indiscriminately,DCP (South) H G S Dhaliwal said. “We did not want any civilian casualties from stray bullets,” he said.

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